Business Owners Thinking about Switching to a 4-Day Workweek Here’s What You Really Need to Know

The 4-day workweek continues to gain traction, though it’s a long, long way from becoming standard. Still, recent trials by companies have shown promise for reducing the workweek by one day (something instituted almost one-hundred years ago in 1926 by Henry Ford).

The change is definitely full of ostensible advantages – and big potential. But, this certainly doesn’t mean it’s all upside and no downside. So, let’s take a look at what business owners need to know about switching to a 4-day workweek and what to expect.

4-Day Workweek Pros

Switching to a 4-day workweek can have several benefits for a business. While some are obvious, others may not be so intuitive. Here are a few reasons a company might want to switch over:

Increased productivity

Research shows that shorter workweeks can lead to increased productivity. Employees may feel more motivated to get work done if they have more time to rest and recharge.

Better work-life balance

A 4-day workweek can give employees more time to spend with their families and pursue personal interests, leading to better mental health and job satisfaction.

Cost savings

A shorter workweek may lead to reduced operating costs for businesses, such as lower energy bills and reduced use of office resources through less use of computers, lights, climate control, and more. It can also help to rein in office expenses as it offers an opportunity to scrutinize spending expenses.
It’s hard to say if many employers will find the 4-day workweek structure agreeable. Everyone is watching these kinds of experiments and learning. Plus, it depends on how the economy and workforce evolve and whether these become new expectations from the vast majority of the workforce—as being able to work at least part-time remotely has become for most knowledge workers. —Boston University
So, the very fact that a business will be operating fewer hours translates directly into operating expense savings. (This is something that generally comes to light when there’s a big change and businesses are forced to examine their spending amounts and frequency.)

Attract and retain talent

Offering a 4-day workweek can be a unique and attractive perk that helps businesses stand out in a competitive job market. It can also help retain current employees by increasing their job satisfaction and loyalty.

4-Day Workweek Cons

While these are certainly compelling reasons and sound good in theory, in practice they may not necessarily materialize (or simply manifest in different forms). Of course, as with any new idea, there are bound to be possible drawbacks and problems that could arise unexpectedly. Here are some things you might encounter by adopting a 4-day workweek:

Reduced hours

A 4-day workweek means employees will work fewer hours, which could lead to reduced productivity and output, especially for businesses that require around-the-clock operations.

Workload distribution

Businesses may need to redistribute workloads or hire additional staff to compensate for the lost hours of those who are working a 4-day week.

Operational difficulties

A 4-day workweek could create operational difficulties, such as coordinating schedules with clients or customers who operate on a 5-day schedule.

Reduced profits

Reduced hours could lead to lower profits for businesses that rely on hourly work or have tight deadlines to meet.

Ultimately, whether a 4-day workweek is a good fit for a business depends on its unique needs and goals. It’s important for businesses to carefully consider the potential advantages and disadvantages before making the switch.

What other considerations would you suggest be a part of these? Please take a moment or two to comment so others can benefit from your thoughts and experiences!

Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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